Keep Your Religious Freedom. I Prefer Fair Treatment For Everyone.

Religious freedom is what this country was founded on. You can practice any religion you’d like, and while some people will undoubtedly think you’re wrong, no one really cares.

As a society, we do put a limitation on that freedom. Religions that requires human sacrifice? The country steps in and says, “No way! You can’t do that in the name of religion.” A religion that allows slavery? No matter how much someone argues that it’s biblical, it’s not going to happen in this country. We have determined that all people should be treated equally, and you’re religion can’t infringe on someone else’s rights.

Idaho, Kansas, Tennessee and Arizona are each in the process of stepping back in time and are trying to legalize discrimination. They believe all people should not be treated equally. They are saying some people’s beliefs are more important than others. You may soon be able to legally discriminate against certain people, as long as you shroud it under “religious freedom.”

Religious Freedom

Idaho

The door to the past has the widest opening there. Rep. Lynn Luker outlined a proposal Tuesday backed by his conservative Christian allies to shield religious people from the threat of losing their professional licenses for refusing service or employment to anyone they conclude violates their religious beliefs.

These licensed professionals include doctors, nurses, real estate agents, teachers, firefighters, social workers, attorneys and police officers. We have a system of checks and balances. Employees should do the right thing. That is enforced by the employer and also by the licensing boards or their license to practice may be revoked.

Obviously, more discrimination may take place with people who have a private practice. This would include doctors, nurses, real estate agents and attorneys. In a private practice, they are both employer and employee. Absolutely no accountability to anyone else – apparently not even the licensing board.

If Luker’s proposal is passed into law, it would prevent the bureau or boards from revoking the license of any professional who declined “to provide or participate in providing any service that violates the person’s sincerely held religious beliefs.” The employees would only be subject to their employers guidelines. The self-employed are subject to their own whims.

Hey…that means they could discriminate against any of us, doesn’t it?

If this goes through, things are going to get pretty tricky. The problem with religious beliefs is anyone can start a religion. How about the “Church Against Women, Atheists, and Gays”? The CAWAG would have quite the following in certain areas. How about a religion that doesn’t like White Old Dudes? WOD could be a reality. Basically, we are giving free reign that anyone could discriminate against pretty much any other person, as long as they yell, “Religious Freedom!” Where exactly will we be drawing the line?

There is an exception – emergency personnel cannot refuse to help a person. Whew, that’s good. But how long will it be until those emergency personnel are complaining that their right to discriminate is being infringed upon? Other doctors can refuse to treat a smoker, but I can’t, even though it’s against my religious beliefs, too. Where is the ultimate accountability?

Isn’t it insane that part of the country is just saying all people aren’t equal? Shouldn’t we all grow the hell up and treat everyone with a little bit of respect?

Tennessee

I saw yesterday that Tennessee has a proposed bill to allow businesses to discriminate against same sex couples. The bill notes that businesses can refuse services and goods only if it furthers a civil union, domestic partnership, or same-sex marriage. The person or business would just have to say it was against their religion. For example, if a same-sex couple wanted a cake for their wedding reception, a bakery could refuse to cater to them.

What about a year later when that same sex couple wanted a birthday cake? Would the bakery have to provide it, or would they be able to say “Nah, cakes for same sex couples is against my religion?” What if the same sex couple opened a bakery that wouldn’t serve straight people?

This is the road to the reintroduction of segregation.

Arizona

There is a law currently in Arizona which permits pharmacists, who are licensed by the state, to refuse on religious or moral grounds to dispense the “morning after” pill designed to block pregnancy following unprotected sex. They say a pharmacist who is a devout Catholic should not be forced to be a part of what he or she believes is someone’s immoral act.

My personal thoughts is that’s part of the job. Why aren’t we standing up and saying, “If you want to work here, this is the job. If it is against your religion to do the job requirements, then go to work somewhere that is a better fit with your beliefs.” Get a job where you agree with everything you do. We should not have a law in place allowing you to not fulfill your duties, but still get paid.

Newly proposed legislation in Arizona, SB 1062, would allow those sued in civil cases to claim that they have a legal right to decide not to provide their services to any individual or group because it would “substantially burden” their freedom of religion. That specifically means doing something that the person feels is contrary to their religious teachings.

Again, discrimination for all!

Kansas

A newly proposed bill in Kansas (that was overwhelmingly approved by the house) would offer protections to residents and businesses who refuse service to gays and lesbians because of their religious beliefs. Ironically enough, they’re calling it the Freedom Bill. Religious freedom that is, certainly not personal freedoms.

Why should a gay person have to hide who they are? Why is your religion allowed in someone else’s bedroom?

Mark Joseph Stern pushed back against assertions that fears surrounding the measure are overblown.

When passed, the new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. Businesses that provide public accommodations – movie theaters, restaurants – can turn away gay couples at the door.

And if a gay couple sues for discrimination, they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees.

But what makes Kansas’ proposal even more breathtaking is that public-sector, government employees can also cite their religion to discriminate against LGBT Kansans – at the DMV, in libraries, at hospitals, at the police department, etc.

If an employee at a non-religious or government business refuses to serve a gay or lesbian couple for religious reasons, the manager is obligated to find another employee who will oblige. These gay and lesbian couples are people who pay their taxes, pay for the service, help pay for the governmental business to continue to operate, but they can be made to jump through extra hoops and be treated as second class citizens. What gives?

All of this is in the name of religious freedoms. Have any of these people heard of separation of church and state? Churches love this one when it gives them the tax exempt status, but suddenly there is no separation when they feel like they want to discriminate against certain groups of people.

We are in a very divided nation. If we can’t see problems that will be arising over this, it’s only because we are wearing blinders. After one or two states pass laws like this, several more will be trying to follow in their footsteps.

None of these states are requiring businesses even notify customers in advance of their religious views. No signs on the doors are needed. A homosexual couple could be asked to leave just about any place, as long as the person says it’s because of their religion.

Religious rights should be protected…to a point. If your religion says you should get a bunch of puppies and kick them everyday, we’d say, “No, that isn’t allowed. That’s cruelty to animals.” But if your religion says you don’t want to serve a drink to a gay couple, our society is saying that kind of religious discrimination should be protected.

What a disgrace.

Go ahead. Put the sign on the door. That sign should say “I am a bigot who believes other people are “less than” I am, and I prefer my clientele be the same.” At least let the rest of us know what we are dealing with so we can choose to walk on by and give our money to someone else.

If your religion promotes discrimination of anyone and doesn’t believe that all people deserve to be treated fairly and equally, please, let me know what religion that is, because I don’t want any part of it.

UPDATE: Kansas Republicans are killing the discrimination legislation.
UPDATE: All states mentioned in this have backed off of their proposed laws. However, there are other states that are still considering variations of the same thing.

35 Thoughts on “Keep Your Religious Freedom. I Prefer Fair Treatment For Everyone.

  1. Good gawd this is sickening. You know, of all the “sins” these idiots could be focusing on, they’re focusing on homosexuality. The one “sin” that hurts no one. Why not refuse to offer service to adulterers? Or murderers? Or thieves? No? Just the gays? Hypocrites.

    These people have a list of commandments by which they are supposed to live, one of which is “Love thy neighbor.” I have seen no addendum to that commandment which says “unless he or she is gay.” These religious nuts annoy the piss outta me. They are constantly acting contrary to their beliefs and the hypocrisy never, ever occurs to them.
    Twindaddy recently posted…Feature Friday: The Matticus KingdomMy Profile

  2. These so-called Christians who advocate discrimination and hatred towards those who are different from them have absolutely no idea what it means to be Christian. Jesus preached LOVE for everyone and would never turn anyone away no matter who they were. These people disgust me….
    Kat recently posted…You get what you giveMy Profile

  3. I believe the point of religious freedom is that I can practice my religion, and you can practice yours, not that I have to abide by all your rules. I wish these right wing nuts would actually read their bibles instead of hitting other people over the head with them! And BTW, this supposed religious freedom seems to be only for White Christians, how about if I no longer care to serve people who eat pork, or drive on Saturdays?
    I love the idea of obliging businesses to post a sign warning all patrons of their bigotry so even if I am not a member of the class or group you don’t like, I am aware of your bigotry, hatred, and stupidity, and will spend my money elsewhere!

    • Perfectly stated Nancy! You know I’m in agreement. Although, gays are one group that aren’t protected from discrimination…and these fools want to be damn sure it stays that way. Gotta be able to hate someone!

      One thing that does surprise me is that this news isn’t on a 24 hour loop, allowing us all to be aware of what these people are trying to do. I found my articles, but had to go hunting for information. This isn’t even making “front page news” across the country.
      Rhonda @Bitch & Whine recently posted…Keep Your Religious Freedom. I Prefer Fair Treatment For Everyone.My Profile

  4. I am so glad I don’t live in any of those states. And I’m shocked these things aren’t being plastered all over every newspaper and outlet. I honestly had no idea about any of this besides Kansas. Ugh!
    Kate recently posted…Happy Valentine’s Day!My Profile

  5. I wonder just how far these politicians will go with their creative interpretations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They both seem to have become more rough guidelines than the actual basis of our country and our freedoms.
    All men are created equal…You know except if you’re gay or you don’t believe in the same things I do or I don’t like the way you look or you’re a woman or …
    Missy Homemaker recently posted…A Mother’s Letter to Jennifer LawrenceMy Profile

  6. Amazing! Another great one, Rhonda! I am so glad that I don’t live in those states!

    You know while I say that all people in this country, I suppose, have the right to discriminate as they please. If they choose not to serve someone due to their sexual preference which “offends” their religious sensibilities, then so be it. But, please post a sign indicating that you are an offending bigot, so that I can support someone who is not, because I will be discriminating against them for morally being jerks.

    However, our government should indeed keep that crap separate. Laws should be made impartially and with the focus on rights as “ALL people” regardless of religion, race, sexual preference or any other reason.

    As far as I am concerned some of these religious nuts could really work more on “finding them some Jesus”! Most of what I know about Jesus…which isn’t much, but it is my understanding that he preached love and acceptance and forgiveness…not hatred, bigotry, or denial. I personally could care less what color you are, what your sexual preference is, or whether you pray or not and to whom, I would just prefer you not be an a**! If someone is one then I would prefer to keep them away. :)

    Have a great weekend!
    Stacey Gannett recently posted…#AskAwayFriday 28 With Lanaya From Raising Reagan!My Profile

  7. Ridiculous!

    What gets me is that they say “religious beliefs” when what they mean is “Christian beliefs.” The moment a non-Christian decides to discriminate against a Christian, all hell will break lose over this and they’ll say, “We didn’t mean Muslims/atheists/Jews/etc. could do it, too!”

  8. Doug in Oakland on February 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm said:

    Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster I live in California. I don’t want to get too vindictive towards these people that I so strongly disagree with because 1) nothing I do or say is going to make them want to change their views and 2) I’m really pretty much insulated from their hate here in Oakland. That may sound somewhat selfish, but it’s sort of all I have. I think these legislatures are a little panicked because they are really starting to lose in the courts and with the voters. I will admit to being highly amused at the anger and terror over the new Pope simply trying to act like a human being.

  9. Wow. This was a wee bit depressing. It’s important for people to know this is going on though.
    Aussa Lorens recently posted…Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One: Cover RevealMy Profile

  10. Damn it!
    I’ve been doing it wrong all this years, (without asking permission, or aproval)
    …oh well, it is too late for me now, I guess I’l just burn in hell
    Buddha of Hollywood recently posted…A VALUABLE LESSONMy Profile

  11. You know, there are already several major religions that might as well be called the church against women, atheists, and homosexuals. We don’t really need to invent any new ones. Great article, by the way!

  12. In the “land of the free”, it disgusts me that such things could take place… and that so many people support them taking place!

  13. Prof. Liddle-Oldman on February 18, 2014 at 10:59 am said:

    If you decline to dispense birth-control because it conflicts with your religious beliefs — shouldn’t you decline to dispense antibiotics, too, in case they’re for a social disease? And statin drugs, because they could be for the sin of Gluttony. And sleep aids and antisleep aids, because Sloth.

    For that matter, they should be refusing to sell clothes to anyone, because they’re going to be touching their filthy, filthy, sinful bodies; and automobiles (do I even need to explain?), and alcohol, and lottery tickets, and tobacco, and food…

    Seems to me that if you want to live a good, clean, god-fearing, healthy, muscular Christian life, you should never do anything for any reason because it might help someone somewhere comit a horrid horrid sin…

    That is to say, oy.

    • Thank you for this thought provoking comment. Of course you are right. We should all go around with our blinders on, not helping out our fellow man, because surely you couldn’t agree with everything they do.

      When people think and act this way, they are being part of the problem, not part of the solution. As jaded as I am, I really wish we could all see and focus on our commonalities instead of dwelling on our differences. These types of divisions remind me that we really aren’t “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
      Rhonda @Bitch & Whine recently posted…Keep Your Religious Freedom. I Prefer Fair Treatment For Everyone.My Profile

  14. It seems to me that CAWAG is already thriving…. :(
    RageMichelle recently posted…20 Reasons Why This Winter Hasn’t SuckedMy Profile

  15. Some Christians aren’t very Christian; are they?
    AmberLynn Pappas recently posted…First StepsMy Profile

  16. Pingback: Spanking Comments Worse Than Proposed Kansas Bill | Bitch & Whine

  17. OMG … I swear my head is going to explode with this one. I know that they’ve all been dismissed at this point, but SERIOUSLY??!!?!?!?!?!? That so many people are in favor of discriminating against others.

    Every constitutional right has a few exceptions–Freedom of Speech: you’re not allowed to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater, Right to Bear Arms: you’re not allowed to walk around with a rocket launcher on your shoulder …. and Religious Freedom does not grant you the right to treat others as second class citizens. What Religious Freedom DOES mean is that if I want to openly practice my faith of the Holy Temple of the Paper Clip, I can do that without repercussion. If I want to kneel down and pray to the Mighty God of Slippers, I get to do that and I can’t be fired because I don’t belong to the Paper Clip Temple that my boss does.

    I’m just beside myself with this one. But I will say that I’ve been happy to see the backlash even from people who I might not have expected. But, lawd, these ignorant, bigoted, narrow-minded politicians have got to stop.
    Real Life Parenting recently posted…I Love You … I Love You Not.My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Post Navigation